Abu Dhabi and Dubai stocks surged early Monday as the massive container ship blocking the Suez Canal was re-floated, thus paving the way for reopening a waterway crucial to global supply chains, including oil shipments from the GCC.
Abu Dhabi Securities traded 1.5 per cent higher at 5,844 points, with Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries skyrocketing 14.4 per cent in what was its biggest single-day gain since last June after news that the firm struck a deal with Abu Dhabi's G42 to manufacture the coronavirus vaccine. In fact, it had started production on a smaller scale at its plant with a capacity of 2 million doses per month.
China is partnering with the UAE to make millions of doses of its state-backed Sinopharm vaccine. A newly-created joint venture between Sinopharm CNBG and G42 is already working on a new plant, which will have a capacity of 200 million doses annually and could be operational this year.
Abu Dhabi's International Holding Company shot up 14.2 per cent, extending its run of gains to above 60 per cent for the year as investors continued to be upbeat about its growth strategy after reporting massive gains last year. It extended its operational reachby opening a new DH200 million facility to process, store and distribute a quarter of the seafood consumed in the UAE.
IHC delivered a strong set of 2020 results despite the pandemic. It reported a group net profit of Dh3 billion compared to Dh506 million a year earlier as revenues grew 460 per cent, driven by strategic acquisitions and organic growth.
Dubai Financial Market edged higher 0.6 per cent to 2,515 points on the back of advances seen across sectors. But real estate and banking stocks outperformed, with Damac and Emaar Properties joining the rally with Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank.
Financial shares also pushed Qatar Exchange and Oman's 30-company index higher, but Bahrain market bucked the trend with Batelco and APM Terminals Bahrain sliding 2.1 and 3.3 per cent as they traded ex-dividend.